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A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays: The importance of water during the menopause

by Eileen, on 21 March 2016, A.Vogel's Menopause Mondays

In this week’s A.Vogel Menopause Mondays I take a look at just how important water is during the menopause! I explain why dehydration can impact your menopause symptoms and how drinking a little bit more water each day can help you. Plus, I offer tips on how to increase your water intake each day and explain why your cups of coffee and tea don’t count!

Video transcript:

Hello and welcome to another edition of A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays. And today, I’m going to be talking about the importance of water.

Now for those of you that have been joining these video blogs for quite a while, you know that I tend to recommend water for just about every single symptom. I thought I would just explain a little bit more why we need water on a daily basis to help with our menopause symptoms.

Why dehydration impacts the menopause

Now, we’re 75% water. But if we don’t drink enough, then we can become dehydrated very, very quickly. Most of us don’t actually drink enough or else we end up drinking too much tea and coffee and fizzy juices, and I will talk about those later on.

The interesting thing is that so many symptoms of dehydration look exactly like menopause symptoms, so I’ll try and remember them all. Dehydration can cause joint aches and pains. It can cause dry skin and itchy skin. It can cause low mood and mood swings. It can cause memory loss and that kind of fuzzy headedness. It can also cause headaches.

It can cause constipation and bloating. It can cause fatigue. It can irritate your bladder, giving you cystitis-like symptoms. It can also cause night-time palpitations which can wake you up. Possibly, the most important thing in menopause is if you’re getting hot flushes and night sweats, these can dehydrate you really, really quickly. Dehydration will then stress the nervous system which will then trigger more hot flashes or night sweats. So, this particular scenario can become a vicious circle very, very quickly.

As you can see, all these symptoms of dehydration can actually look exactly like menopause ones as well. Getting that water into your daily diet is very, very important.

A simple way to drink more water

But how do you do it? You know, I’m probably like everybody else. I don’t like water particularly. I’d far rather have a really nice cup of tea or a nice glass of juice. It’s not an awful lot of fun.

Now just one very important thing: your caffeine and your teas and your other drinks don’t count as part of your daily intake. So you’re actually looking to be drinking one and a half to two litres of plain water every day.

Now this is my plan. This is what I do to actually help myself on a daily basis to make sure I get enough water into my diet. Most important thing is don’t have cold water. If you drink a lot of cold water, it can stress your digestive system, which may already be struggling with menopause symptoms as well.

So what I do is first thing in the morning, small glass of warm water. You can add a little bit of lemon juice to it if you wish. I know some people actually like doing it that way. When I’m in work, I have my lovely pink bottle which is a big reminder. It’s sitting in front of me all during the day. It’s a litre bottle, and I get that finished before I actually go home at 5 o’clock. And then I have another glass of warm water early evening or sometimes just before I go to bed and that’s me. I’ve actually got the one and a half litres into my day.

Why you should start off slowly

It’s really important if you don’t drink a lot of water to start introducing it slowly. If you drink a lot of water quickly, you’ll be running to the toilet all day. So you need to give your kidneys time to adapt to this extra water. Start off with one glass extra a day for a week, and then the next week, take two and so on and just do it that way. I prefer to drink water little and often rather than taking big glass fulls but some people prefer it the other way. So you’ll find what suits you best.

The problem with other drinks…

Now as for the other drinks: tea, coffee, fizzy juices, and alcohol. Tea and coffee contain caffeine, and caffeine will stir up your nervous system and can give you palpitations, dizziness, headaches, hot flushes, etc…

Now people do say to me,”Can I take caffeine-free tea and coffee?” You can, but the problem there is that there are other chemicals in these drinks that can affect you during the menopause. A lot of chemicals in tea will wash calcium and magnesium out of your body which is not what you want to happen at this particular time both for bone health and mood health as well. And especially with decaffeinated coffee; sometimes they actually use chemicals to decaffeinate it so you end up with coffee that has no caffeine in it but has added extra chemicals in it as well.

Herbal Teas & Coffee Substitutes

But what you can do is there’s nothing to stop you from drinking herb teas so we’ve got the A.Vogel herbal tea and the Bambu® which is a coffee substitute. You can add these into the diet. And the lovely thing about this one is that you can actually take it before you go to bed. You can have a nice warming drink before you actually retire.

The one thing to watch with herb teas is that a lot of herb teas now that you get have lots of flavorings in them which doesn’t really help. So you want to look for pure herb teas if you can.

Why fizzy drinks & artificial sweeteners should be avoided

Fizzy drinks, they really need to be avoided. And I’m sure that everybody’s seen all these articles on the TV about how many teaspoons of sugar is in one can of a fizzy drink.

Sometimes people then go on to artificial sweeteners. Now from the naturopathic point of view in the menopause, we really don’t recommend that you take artificial sweeteners at all. They can stress the liver and you don’t want that because the liver can be already stressed during the menopause. Artificial sweeteners can also interfere with your insulin control, and that can already be under a bit of pressure as well because of falling estrogen.

Fizzy drinks and fizzy water also tend to contain high levels of a mineral called phosphorous. Phosphorous will wash calcium from your bones which is not what you want because we already have the worry about osteoporosis in the menopause as well.

Give it a try!

So hopefully that’s given you a few tips about how to take water and also just how so important it is in the menopause. The great thing is it’s free, and drinking water can sometimes ease symptoms really, really quickly. So I just urge all of you: have a try. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose.

Next week…

Now I hope to see you next week when I will be talking about why have my symptoms returned in the menopause. So I look forward to seeing you all next Monday for A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays.

 

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Reactions

  • Tina

    I like de caff green tea with a teaspoon of Manuka honey-please tell me this is ok?!

    • eileen

      Hi Tina
      Yes, this should be fine as long as you are not drinking lots of cups a day and that you are still drinking a few glasses of plain water as well.

  • Angela Hall

    That had really helped me this week. Thanks but I have been followin your emails for few weeks. And can’t believe all my symptoms down to menopause. I feel rubbish most of the time.

    • eileen

      Hi Angela
      Glad this has helped! What are your main symptoms and I may be able to suggest something to for you?

  • sabiha

    Thanks for that useful info

    • eileen

      HI Sahiba
      You’re welcome!

  • tricia

    chamomile tea is relaxing before bedtime its nice and calming and helps you sleep also good during the day for palpitations

    • eileen

      Hi Tricia
      Thanks for that great tip, chamomile is a lovely tea!

  • sharon fuerst

    So encouraging thanks!

    • eileen

      Thank you!

  • jane warren

    It does help a lot that your not alone and simple things like drinking more water is great no im not keen on it, but if it works il try anything. Thank you again.

    • eileen

      You’re welcome, do let me know hoe you get on.

  • Senay

    Hi Eileen just wanted to thank you for all your information it has been a lot of help for me . I am getting to understand myself again as I watch all your menopause Mondays. I just wished there was no menopause as I have gained lots of weight round my middle and just can’t shift it. So all the information you send out I am trying to stick too. So don’t stop the talks . Thank you Senay x

    • eileen

      Hi Senay
      Thank you for your lovely comments, the menopause is a huge subject so I think there will be lots and lots of talks to come!

  • angella karim

    Thanks for the information it really helps

    • eileen

      Hi Angella
      Glad to hear that the info is helping you!

  • Suzy

    I taught myself to drink 8 glasses of water a day when I was a teenager and have stuck to this ever since, although these days I drink closer to ten glasses. This sounds like a lot but my body is used to it! I notice that if I drink water while having a hot flush, the flush fades really quickly. I’ve also noticed that I just generally feel better when I drink my full quota of water. On days that I don’t, for whatever reason, I make sure that the next day I drink half a glass of water on the hour, every hour, which is a great way to re-hydrate. I hope this helps others – I really like drinking water, as long as it’s filtered and not straight from the tap!

    • eileen

      Hi Suzy
      Wow,that’s great to hear, and it is true that if your body is used to being well hydrated missing even a glass or two can be really felt! If I have a low water day I can feel so thirsty that I have to drink!

  • julie hale

    Why do some days,I feel ok then others I ache all over ?

    • eileen

      Hi Julie
      This can be due to several things, your hormones can go up and down a bit like a yo-yo and this can trigger symptoms or make them ease off. Also if you have a day where you are eating a lot of sugary foods or drinking a lot of tea or coffee or fizzy drinks that can make your symptoms worse as well. On the days you don’t feel as good just check what you had for your breakfast or what you ate the day before and you may find a clue!
      Poor sleep can also affect the way you feel so getting a good night’s rest is really important as well.

  • Balilou

    Very helpful info. A million thanks.

    • eileen

      Hi Balilou
      You are very welcome!

  • jude

    the water drinking does work and I have found if you go out and buy yourself a really nice glass and pretend its a special drink it is easier to drink the ammount recommended…however I feel like hell with the menopause but water drinking must be good

    • eileen

      Hi Jude
      That’s a great tip, thanks!

  • Allesandra

    Hi,I would like advice on how to lose weight after I have had a total abdominal hysterectomy two years ago, I have put on weight, have depression, hot flushes, always tired & low in mood . Would appreciate advice on where to start. Many thanks . Allesandra

    • eileen

      Hi Allesandra
      Please can you let me know if you are on HRT, thanks.
      You can email me the answer and I can then reply privately to you.
      Eileen@bioforce.co.uk

  • Annette Marriday

    Hi Eileen. thank you for the info, I try to drink +- five glasses during the day due to me traveling double transports daily in and out of work. so I intend to have a weak bladder, so I watch my in take in the morning and before I leave work. Ps lately I seem to have hunger pangs a hour after i have eaten, this does not seem normal. is it part the menopause? thank you. Annette

    • eileen

      Hi Annette
      Well done for trying to get enough water, it is really difficult if you are often on the move or can’t get to a toilet as often as you wish because of your job.
      Hunger pangs are really common for two reasons, your nutritional needs go up in the menopause so you do often get hungrier. But, also your blood sugars can become very sensitive, carbohydrate foods such as bread, pasta, white rice, cakes etc will spike your blood sugar levels very quickly after eating then just as quick fall and this fall is what triggers your hunger. You may find cutting down on your carbohydrate intake and increase your protein, good fats and veg to keep your blood sugars more stable. Some women find adding a protein shake to their daily diet can really help but just make sure it is a healthy one that is low in sugar and has no artificial sweeteners in it.

  • Sarah

    Hi,I am 49 years of age and started having night sweats, hot flashes, giddy bouts, bad headaches and low energy for quit a few years now. However I started getting regular palpertaions as well now every day and night for the past five months. These are really worrying me now. I had an 24 hour ECG done 3 weeks ago, but still waiting for the results. I never drink alcohol, very rarely eat take out and don\\’t really feel that stressed in my every day life. The palpertaions however have started to take over my mind set.

    • Sarah

      Palpitations

  • Violet Whyte

    Hi Eileen, i have been drinking water but feels little difference in my pains and aches. My legs are often tired especially getting out of bed and standing up after sitting f for a while. What can i do to help relieve these symptom

    • eileen

      Hi Violet
      Tired legs as you get out of bed could mean that you are a bit low in magnesium so you could try taking a magnesium citrate supplement 200mg with your evening meal to see if that helps. If not, then it is best just to get this checked out by your doctor.

  • Sheritha Dasari

    I started drinking plenty of water and my bloating has really improved . Thank you kindly

    • eileen

      Hi Sheritha
      That’s great!

  • eileen

    Hi SarahIt is good to get any unexplained heart symptom checked out by your doctor just in case it is unrelated to the menopause.However, palpitations are surprisingly common in the menopause. The falling hormones in the menopause can stress the nervous system (even if you don\’t feel stressed) making it much more sensitive and reactive and this can then trigger palpitations at any time. It is also known that falling oestrogen can affect the \’electrical system\’ of the heart which can cause rapid heartbeat or it can feel as if you miss a heart beat every so often. I would suggest a magnesium supplement (good for headaches as well!) and a vitamin B Complex to help support and calm the nervous system. You may also find Menopause Support helpful, this is traditionally used to help gently raise and balance oestrogen thus reducing symptoms – it also contains magnesium as well. Dehydration and low blood sugar levels can also be a big factor so make sure that you are drinking plenty of plain water throughout the day and don\’t go more than a few hours without eating something – go for healthy snacks such as nuts and seeds, dried fruits or plain yogurt. Caffeine, high salt and sugar foods, fizzy drinks and fruit juices can trigger palpitations so best avoided.

    • Sarah

      Thank you for the advise and information, I will certainly try what you have suggested. I forgot to mention that I am taking sage for the hot flashes and night sweats, which as helped. Is it OK to take the above with these?

      • eileen

        Hi Sarah
        It is fine to take supplement such as magnesium and B Vits with the sage, it is actually a good combination for the menopause!

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